It’s Tuesday. That means its time to share with you a sampling of some of the things I have been reading and thinking about in the past week. This week’s categories are: Church & Ministry Thought and Practice; Cross-Sector Collaboration; Leadership; Neighbor Love; Stewardship; Vocation; and Miscellaneous. I entrust these to you now and hope you find them helpful and thought-provoking.
Church & Ministry Thought and Practice
Carey Nieuwhof offers “7 Signs Your Church is Making Inroads with Unchurched People.” What do you think? I am still trying to figure out what I think about this one.
Friend of this blogger and blog, Kaitlyn Ferguson asks I think helpfully, “Do we fear big brother or little brother?” This is a very valuable reflection for ministry leaders. As she asks, “How do we keep tabs on the good, the bad, and the ugly that arise from people being able to express any and all opinions?” What do you think?
Another post that has been shared in ministry circles this past week is this reflection, “Dear Church, 11 Signs You’re Burning Out Your Staff.” It’s an important read for all church and ministry leaders. What do you think?
Rev. Tom Ehrich writes that “Business as usual is off the table.” To this I say a resounding AMEN. To say otherwise is to ignore the very fact that the world has changed. We are still to proclaim and share the Good News of the gospel. But the way that message is proclaimed and word and deed may change to better face the new and different contexts. Would you agree?
Apparently what I have seen locally is being seen at large- more and more people want to pursue social good through work. Many people of my generation are being recruited with an added benefit of a job for being socially minded and/or socially involved. There is a general sense that people, in finding meaningful work are looking for something more than just a paycheck, but also something that is bigger than themselves and which they can see is part of doing something good in the larger community. In some ways this is also a cross-sector implication, as the lines that have divided the different sectors in society continue to blur and mix.
Tanveer Naseer shares, “3 Leadership Attributes Revealed Through Serving Others.” The attributes he sees are: an ability to open yourself up to unconventional thinking; the demonstration of integrity through one’s actions and words; and an undying belief that one can make a difference.
If you are a connector, or connective type leader, these tips could be helpful for networking smarter.
Brad Power writes, “If You’re Going to Change Your Culture, Do it Quickly.” What do you think about the implications of this?
I could have placed this under the “Church & Ministry Thought and Practice” section, but decided to put it in the neighbor love section. Here’s an update on an on-going discussion, discernment, and wrestling within the United Methodist Church.
Friend of this blog and blogger Hannah writes an excellent response to Seth Adam Smith. She makes a great case and argument for why marriage is for her, and I share her sentiments. As Hannah concludes, “When you marry someone, at least in the Christian tradition, you’re affirming that this partner of yours is made in the image of God. That they are good and that you are going to treat them in a way that recognizes that. And- if we want to love our neighbor (or, in this case, our spouse) as ourselves- that also means that we are affirming that we are made in the image of God, too.”
Friend of this blogger Rev. Eric Hoffer offers a great reflection on “Loving the least of these.” As he concludes, “Our call as Christians is to love- not from a distance, but by breaking down boundaries and walking side-by-side, hand-in-hand, even cheek-to-cheek with our neighbor.”
Friend of this blog and blogger, Grace Duddy offers a timely reflection on how to save during the season of spending. As she asks, I echo her question, “how are you saving this Holiday season?” As you begin or continue to do shopping going into Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas keep this in mind not as something to convict, but as something practical and good to reflect upon.
Tom Schwolert makes the case to “Do Your Thing.” He writes very authentically and honestly about where he is in life, and how if you aren’t able to do your thing you are probably restless. This is often a good time to pay attention because its likely an important indication of some vocational discernment or at least the need for some mindfulness there.
Friend of this blog and blogger, Dr. Terri Elton shares some helpful reflections and questions about life changes. As she asks in the midst of this, “Do we know our role?” That’s a question I have found myself asking a lot lately. How about you?
When I saw this, I had to share it with you. “What the Twin Cities Can Teach Us About Living Well.” What do you think?
That will conclude our links for this week. Later in the week you will see the next installment of Emmy Kegler’s and my series “Words in Our Mouth” about mission statements. If you have not yet read the original post in that series, you can find that here. Additionally, look forward to some more thoughts about discernment, as well as the usual leadership type reflections. If there are any things you would like to read on this blog, or included in the links please just let me know by commenting here. Blessings on your week! -TS